Israel - Palestine news this week
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Israel-Palestine News 22nd-28th October 2016
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Purpose: to provide a varied selection of articles from Arabic, Hebrew and English mainstream media outlets so readers get a flavour of what is being said about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from different perspectives. The aim is to shine a spotlight for readers on the polarised narratives and constant one-sided messaging that appears in the media of each society, and often also in the international media. Solutions Not Sides makes no attempt to reconcile or support any of these narratives, but we believe it is important to understand each side’s perspective and the way that their society presents events if a negotiated solution is to be reached. 

We do not currently have the capacity to provide translations of actual Hebrew and Arabic media, so bear in mind that news agencies that issue articles in those languages may not produce the same content as the English versions of their outlets provided here (e.g. Aljazeera Arabic and Aljazeera English do not simply produce the same content in both languages). The content and opinions of these articles do not reflect our aims or opinions. Our main educational point about media sources on this issue is that they are almost always biased and should never be trusted in isolation. Please BE RESOURCEFUL and research for yourself a diversity of sources for everything you read or hear about Israel-Palestine. 
Arabic News Sources

Al-Jazeera: UNESCO approves new Jerusalem resolution. Home to Muslim, Christian and Jewish holy sites, Old City to retain conservation status after secret ballot. UNESCO's World Heritage Committee has approved a new resolution on the status of conservation of the Old City of Jerusalem. In Wednesday's secret ballot, the UN cultural body agreed to retain the walled area, home to key Muslim, Christian and Jewish holy sites, on the list of endangered world heritage. It also criticised Israel for its continuous refusal to let the body's experts access Jerusalem's holy sites to determine their conservation status. The document refers to the Jerusalem site only by its Arab name. Muslims refer to it as al-Haram al-Sharif, Arabic for the Noble Sanctuary, and it includes the al-Aqsa mosque and the golden Dome of the Rock. It is the third holiest in Islam, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

Middle East Eye: Palestinian-Israeli, 15, shot and killed on border with Egypt. The Israeli defence ministry said a contractor carrying out work on the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Eilat was killed by gunfire. A 15-year-old Arab-Israeli civilian was shot and killed on Tuesday while working on a fence on the Egyptian border, the Israeli military said. The army said in a statement that the shooting did not appear to be connected to militant action and that the Israeli and Egyptian militaries were investigating the incident. Israel's defence ministry named the victim as Nimr Abu-Amar an Arab Israeli working for a contractor firm it had hired to carry out maintenance work on the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Eilat. He died of his wounds while being airlifted to an Israeli hospital from the remote Israel-Egypt border area in the Negev desert where the shooting occurred, an army spokeswoman said.

Ma’an News Agency: Clashes break out in Bedouin village after Israeli police deliver demolition orders. Clashes broke out on Wednesday between Israeli police and local youth in the Bedouin village of Bir Hadaj in Israel’s Negev desert, after Israeli police affixed demolition orders on some villagers’ homes. Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces detained a number of people during the clashes, and that some Bir Hadaj residents were injured in the process. They added that Israeli police issued demolition notices for homes belonging to the Abu Murayhil family ordering that the houses be demolished within 24 hours. Locals said these houses had been demolished by Israeli authorities two weeks earlier, and had been recently rebuilt with the help of the Higher Guidance Committee of Arab Residents in the Negev.“Israel thinks that it will find a solution by using force,”
PNN: Israel approves 180 new settlement units in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Israeli municipality on Thursday morning approved the construction of new settlement units in occupied Jerusalem starting from next week. Israeli media sources affirmed that Israeli authorities approved the construction of 181 new settlement units in Gilo settlement southwest of East Jerusalem. Under international law, Israeli settlements in occupied Jerusalem and West Bank are considered illegal. However, Netanyahu’s government continues its settlement projects despite the international backlash.

Hebrew News Sources

Israel Hayom: 13 extremists who lauded Palestinian family's murder indicted for incitement. Thirteen people, including five minors aged 14 to 17, were indicted Wednesday for inciting violence and terrorism following their celebration of the killing of a Palestinian family in a 2015 arson attack, the Jerusalem District Attorney's Office said Wednesday. The attack on July 31, 2015, in the Palestinian village of Duma, near Nablus, killed Riham Dawabsha, 27, her husband, Saad, 31, and their 18-month-old son, Ali. The sole survivor was the couple's other son, 4-year-old Ahmed, who sustained severe burns. In December, Channel 10 News aired a video showing several people, later identified as far-right extremists, dancing at a wedding while waving weapons and stabbing a photo of Ali Dawabsha.

Times of Israel: UNESCO vote ignoring Jewish ties to Temple Mount a ‘blood libel,’ says Herzog. Opposition head says decision cannot erase or rewrite history; Bennett defends move to recall envoy to UN cultural body. Israeli politicians from across the political spectrum criticized the approval Wednesday by a UNESCO panel of a controversial resolution that ignores Jewish and Christian ties to the Temple Mount, with opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) labeling it a “blood libel.” UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee adopted Draft Resolution 40COM 7A.13, entitled “Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls,” by a large majority, with 10 countries voting in favor, eight abstaining and two opposing the text. Just eight “yes” votes were needed for the resolution to pass. In a Facebook post later Wednesday, Herzog noted the Jewish people’s strong historic and religious connections to Jerusalem, and accused UNESCO of “spreading a blood libel” in order to “incite against us.”

Jerusalem Post: Jews blamed for Holocaust in UK event slammed by Israeli embassy. An event at the parliament's House of Lords on Tuesday night apparently set the stage for accusations blaming the Jews for the Holocaust. In a video posted to Twitter by Spokesperson of the Israeli Embassy in London Yiftach Curiel, an unnamed speaker at at the event can be heard suggesting that an anti-German protest by a US rabbi had provoked Hitler's decision to carry out the genocide of the Jews. The event was hosted at the second chamber of the UK Parliament by former Liberal Democrat party MP Baroness Jennifer Tonge, who has previously been accused of harboring anti-Semitic stances. The gathering marked the launch of a campaign for the UK to apologize for the 1917 Balfour Declaration on the millennial anniversary of the British Declaration in support of a Jewish home in the Holy Land.

Times of Israel: PA releases Palestinians arrested for visiting settler mayor’s sukkah. Four Palestinians arrested late last week for attending a sukkot holiday event in a West Bank settlement were freed on Sunday evening, Channel 2 News reported. The report said that the Israeli army’s chief coordinator with the Palestinian Authority, the Coordinator of Government Activity in the Territories, Major General Yoav Mordechai, had been instrumental in securing the men’s release. It did not give further details.
US/UK news

Washington Post: 20 minutes from modern Jerusalem, a Palestinian village is stranded in the past. West Bank — Let there be light. That is a plea of residents of this Palestinian village who have waited nearly three decades for electricity while well-lit Israeli settlements sprang up around them. Now they are pinning their hopes on a new local women’s committee that is determined to get them on the grid. Just a 20-minute drive from bustling modern Jerusalem, on the side of a mountain whose name means “Paradise,” Jubbet adh Dhib is like a step back in time. Without refrigeration, food goes bad. Elderly Palestinians fall down in the dark. Children can’t study at night. With no WiFi and limited television, villagers feel cut off from the world. “Our children don’t have a good childhood,” said Fadia al-Wahsh, the leader of the women’s committee. “They see kids everywhere, with iPads and Internet” in more prosperous Palestinian communities, she said. “My son says, ‘Why do you make me live here?’ ”

New York Times: As U.N. Ignores Jewish Ties to Holy Site, Israel Produces Ancient Evidence. As Unesco, the United Nations cultural organization, approved a resolution on Wednesday that ignored a Jewish connection to an ancient, hotly contested holy site in Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority produced a rare papyrus fragment from the seventh century B.C., written in ancient Hebrew, that mentions Jerusalem by name. Archaeologists interpreted the two lines of text on the papyrus as a concise shipping document reading, “From the king’s maidservant, from Na’arat, jars of wine, to Jerusalem.” The antiquities authority, an independent government body, said it was the earliest known source aside from the Bible to mention Jerusalem in Hebrew, and added in a statement that the other place mentioned, Na’arat, appeared in the biblical book of Joshua (16:7)

Guardian: Israel's national theatre company criticised for show in West Bank settlement. Habima’s planned performance in Kiryat Arba is seen as endorsement of settlements and sign of climate of pressure on artists. Israel’s national theatre company has announced it will perform in a hardline West Bank settlement, sparking a fierce row inside Israel’s artistic community. The performance in the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba next to Hebron is planned to take place next month despite a growing chorus of criticism from Israeli cultural figures opposed to the move. Although other theatre companies have performed in Kiryat Arba before, it is the first time that Habima – Israel’s national theatre – has performed in the settlement. The row over the decision to stage a dramatized version of SY Agnon’s A Simple Story is the latest chapter in the bitter culture war between members of Israel’s artistic community and the country’s abrasive right-wing culture and sport minister, Miri Regev. Regev has threatened to cut funding to arts groups that refuse to perform in settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.


Arutz Sheva: The lowering of the standard for truth among Americans. Commendably, organized American Jewry is finally focused on the campaign to boycott, de-legitimize, and sanction Israel. However, focusing primarily on Israel, and not also on America and Europe, is short-sighted. The BDS campaign has not devastated Israel economically. Israel is thriving both economically and in terms of regional alliances—but fifty years of a well-funded propaganda campaign has all but destroyed Israel's good name and has rendered her and Jews everywhere vulnerable to diplomatic, academic, and mob attacks. It has also lowered the standards for truth among Americans. This is a very important point. An Islamic-style of Jew hatred has merged with Western, politically correct anti-racism to breed an unnatural passion for "Palestinians," (Fakestinians), which has infiltrated every corner, every crevice of our lives and world. It has infected Americans and Europeans on both sides of the aisle and of every class, race, and ethnicity.

Israel Hayom: UNESCO's disgrace actually strengthens us. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is not the problem, but the solution. Against its will, the institution grudgingly serves as a tool that will ultimately reinforce what it is attempting to deny: the eternal connection between the Jewish people and the core of its religious and national identity. The Temple Mount is not just a geographical and historical place, but a powerful marker that contains within it the ultimate indication of our identity as an ancient and regenerating nation. The farce in which the organization that is supposed to represent world nations works to strengthen the connection between the Temple Mount and Israel's Arabs, and in effect Islam -- through the blatant disregard for religious and historical Jewish presence -- is a wake-up call for all of us. To their detriment, Jews distanced from their religious and national identity are now forced to concern themselves with the question of their people's connection to the "epicenter" in the heart of the city whose memory sustained us in the Diaspora, and which prompted our return to Zion.

Ma’an News Agency: The war on UNESCO: Al-Aqsa Mosque is Palestinian and East Jerusalem is illegally occupied. Did Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi actually read the full text of the UNESCO resolution on Palestine and Israel, before he raved with anger? “I think this is a mistaken, inconceivable resolution,” he said.“ It is not possible to continue with these resolutions at the UN and UNESCO that aim to attack Israel. It is shocking and I have ordered that we stop taking this position (his country’s abstention) even if it means diverging from the position taken by the rest of Europe,” he added. Renzi, who became prime minister in 2014 at the relatively young age of 39, knows exactly how the game is played. In order to win favor with Washington, he must first please Tel Aviv.

Haaretz: Are Israelis the Bad Ones? B’Tselem is telling Israelis that the exception they have enjoyed from moral judgment is over and they must recognize that they have built and solidified an entire system of values and laws that is fundamentally a self-delusion. Israelis are being required to abandon the paradigm that has defined them for the past 50 years, that their aggressiveness has in practice been forced on them. Now they are being asked to accept themselves as ordinary “historic criminals.” B’Tselem is not providing them with new facts, but instead is suggesting a new understanding of their role in the story: a shift from being a blameless passive player to an active force assuming responsibility.

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